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Sabaudia is one of the four Foundation Cities of the Province of Latina, built in the fascist period after the reclamation of the Agro Pontino. Located in a strategic position (85 km from Rome and 25 from Latina), it is immersed in the nature of the Circeo National Park, between the forest, Lake Paola and the sea, which today holds 18 Blue Flags.

The city was born following a design competition won by the architects Cancellotti, Montuori, Piccinato and Scalpelli, all members of the Italian movement for Rational Architecture (M.I.A.R.). It is no coincidence that its urban structure is characterized almost exclusively by classic fascist rationalism and undoubtedly represents the most obvious example, so much so that even today Sabaudia is under the lens of students and researchers from universities around the world.

On 5 August 1933 the first stone of the city was laid, which was given the name of Sabaudia in honor of the Savoy House, the ruling dynasty. On April 15, 1934, after 253 days of work, the city was inaugurated by King Vittorio Emanuele III and Queen Elena of Montenegro. From that day Sabaudia, thanks to the architectural structure, the natural wonders, the historical-archaeological sites and the priceless beauty scenarios, has become an important tourist center as well as a renowned seaside resort.

The regatta course in Sabaudia is situated on Lake Paola, a coastal brackish lake, within the Circeo National Park. The lake has an area of approximately 3.9km² and only rowing, canoeing and fishing activity is permitted on the lake. Sabaudia is one of several towns built on the reclaimed marshland of the Pontine Marshesduring the 1930s.

The Circeo National Park is one of the most ancient protected natural areas in Italy. Located in the stretch of coast between Anzio and Terracina, it covers over 5000 hectares. Inside the park there is Mount Circeo(at the foot of which is located the start of the regatta course), the island of Zannone, many caves by the sea (some of which are connected to the legend of Ulyssesand the sorceress Circe, from which the mountain takes its name) and the forest covered with Mediterranean Scrub and composed of different types of trees. Over the years, there have also been many archaeological finds that testify to the presence of man since prehistoric times.

What to see?

In its heterogeneous essence, undoubtedly complicating the mix between a remote past and a more recent one (do not forget the presence of the Romans in the area), between anthropic works and “drawings” of nature, Sabaudia presents different types of itineraries, all equally extraordinary value.

Rationalist itenerary

Made of travertine marble and bricks, on the central door there is a “Vittoria Marciante” by the sculptors Nagni and Vecchi.
46 meters high, in white travertine with the typical “arengario”, it houses the first stone of Sabaudia with a parchment and some coins of the Kingdom of Italy.
In travertine and bricks such as the Palazzo Comunale, on the facade there is a large mosaic by Ferruccio Ferrazzi depicting the scene of the Annunciation set in Sabaudia, with rural life scenes in which Mussolini stands out in the act of arranging sheaves of wheat. The circular Baptistery, the Bell Tower and the Casa Canonica complete this very suggestive corner of the city which recalls the medieval Italian squares. (Free admission).
The chapel was commissioned by Queen Margherita following the disappearance of her husband Umberto I to whom it was dedicated. It was originally located inside the Palazzo Margherita in Rome. In 1935 it was donated by Queen Elena to the Parish of SS. Annunziata. Designed by Stramucci, built by Dellera, it was restored in 1985 by the Giordano family. Inside it has an altar carved in walnut, surmounted by a wooden tabernacle that serves as the base for a statue depicting Blessed Umberto. The coat of arms of the House of Savoy is carved on the ceiling. (Free admission).
It is the most interesting building from an architectural point of view, the work of the futurist Angiolo Mazzoni. Completely covered with blue tesserae (the color of the Savoy), it has large windows framed by a curb in red Siena marble, from which the large internal room takes on light. A splendid side staircase led to the caretaker’s house. Today it houses the Documentation Center and is home to the municipal library. (Free admission).
Inaugurated in 1985 following the donation of many works by Maestro Emilio Greco, it houses 84 works including ink drawings, copper etchings, lithographs, bronzes, chalks, medals, silver coins, bas-reliefs and a collection of 248 stamps.
It is a permanent exhibition that embellishes the Noble Wing of the Town Hall. It consists of 35 xylographic works by Cambellotti belonging to the “Roman Legends” folder (published by Quasar in 1980). (Free admission)

Roman itenerary

It is the most interesting archaeological site in the area, it covers 46 hectares included in an integral reserve area in the Circeo National Park. The imperial villa was built on the structures of a previous late republican coastal villa. Today it presents itself with an imposing rectilinear façade, built along the shore of Lake Sabaudia with a grandiose work of banqueting. It has a thermal bathing area characterized by the typical calidarium-tepidarium-frigidarium tripartition, an outdoor gym, two exedras, a banquet hall, a four-sided portico. In the area it is also possible to visit the numerous cisterns and traces of the aqueducts that ensured the water supply to the Villa. (Free admission on reservation).

Port canal that connects Lake Sabaudia to the sea. It was commissioned by Nero as part of a grandiose project that was supposed to unite Rome with Naples by means of a navigation system in inland waters (coastal lakes and canals).

Archaeological site located on one of the peninsulas on Lake Paola, difficult to interpret because it is the result of a continuous stratification of materials and constructions lasting several centuries. The first structure built, probably in the 1st century BC, was a public spa complex. Many reconstructions and restorations followed which continued until the 18th century. There are remains of works of bank, cisterns and a small elliptical building. The name of the place seems to derive from the activity of cheesemakers who carried out some monks who settled on the spot in medieval times. (Free admission on reservation).
It is a small archaeological site, still partly to be excavated. The environments characterizing the thermal plants (apodyterium, calidarium, laconicum) and a black and white mosaic decoration are visible. The complex could belong to a modest public facility or to a sumptuous private domus. (Free admission on reservation).
Is a gripping system created in Roman times to collect the waters of an emissary of the Braccio della Bagnara of Lake Sabaudia. It is made up of two structures: a cappuccina-covered canal that collects water and a fountain that allows it to be used.
Stands on the remains of a Roman villa of the first century. A.D. Built by the Benedictines in the 6th century. d. C., guards a wooden statue depicting a Madonna and Child of the century. XIII. The bell tower originally served as a defense and sighting tower. The monastery remained active until the suppression occurred in the Napoleonic period.

Pre-reclamation itenerary

It is one of the integral reserve areas in the forest of the Circeo National Park. Seasonally flooded, it reproduces the original landscape of the Pontine Marshes. (Free admission).
Within the forest, in one of the first masonry buildings built in the pre-remediation period, a Documentation Center on Education and Health was set up in the Pontine Marshes. It contains interesting documents testifying to the work done by those who have worked to ensure the populations of the Pontine plain the right to health care and education. There are sections dedicated to the first teachers, the first doctors and the fight against the Anopheles mosquito. (Free admission can only be visited in the morning).

Naturalistc itenerary

It is one of the few best preserved and most extensive examples of plain forest, or plain, existing in Italy. It extends for about 3,300 hectares and maintains many peculiarities of the Selva di Terracina, the ancient coastal forest which, before the reclamation of the 1930s, occupied over 11,000 hectares. The Forest is a very rich and extremely varied ecosystem and, due to its characteristics, was declared a “Biosphere Reserve” in 1977 under the MAB program (Man and Biosphere) sponsored by Unesco. The Forest can be visited all year round , through a dense network of footpaths and cycle paths.
Close to and parallel to the Coastal Dune, a wet and lagoon environment develops consisting of four coastal lakes in succession (Lake Sabaudia or Paola, Lake Caprolace, Lake Monaci and Lake Fogliano) and from wetlands, seasonally flooded. The surrounding lakes and wetlands constitute the most important marsh ecosystem in Italy and form a territorial complex declared “Wetland of International Interest” under the Ramsar Convention (Iran 1971). The location of the park in a geographical area coinciding with the main migratory routes, in fact, makes it particularly suitable for stopping many species of birds (over 260 species of water birds).
Along the coast, from the limestone slopes of the Promontory and for 25 km to the north, up to Capo Portiere, the Mediterranean Dune develops, a unique environment in Italy and for this reason it is also protected by the European Union. The sea side, strongly exposed to the wind full of salt, is characterized by evergreen shrubs, while the internal side, protected from sea winds, by the Mediterranean scrub, which houses a rich and fleeting fauna.

541 m high limestone relief, the icon of the Circeo National Park, with a profile that has always unleashed human imagination, making it the home of gods, sorceresses and heroes over the centuries. The Promontory is the most characteristic landscape element of the whole Pontine area. Its internal side, called the “cold quarter”, houses a dense forest of evergreen oaks. While on the opposite side, the “hot quarter”, exposed to the south and close to the sea, the environmental conditions determine Mediterranean vegetation with species resistant to salt, drought and high temperatures. The widespread presence of numerous caves on the sea side makes this environment particularly interesting from a geo-speleological point of view and, due to the numerous finds found, also of considerable prehistoric interest. The best known cave is the Guattari Cave where a Neanderthal skull was found in 1939.

Through interactive scenographic settings the five main natural environments protected by the Park are narrated: the coastal Dune, the Circeo Promontory, the Wetlands with the four lakes and the marshy areas, the plan forest and the island of Zannone, in addition to the archaeological heritage present throughout the territory. (Free admission). CERASELLA WILDLIFE AREA: equipped area in which there is a wildlife enclosure with fallow deer and wild boars. (Free admission)
It collects audiovisual finds, plastic, photographic and iconographic representations, which document the paleontological, palethnological and historical entities of the Sabaudia area and the Pontine region. Fossils from the ancient Tyrrhenian Sea, obsidian tools from the Neolithic populations, shells from all the malacological provinces of the planet, finds from a Roman shipwreck lying in front of the Sabaudia coast, Roman coins of the imperial era are exhibited.